...theatre is no more
due to some expired lease you will not be able to go
watch a movie there anymore
Anyone who has been into this single screen 1000 seater hall will remember its strange design and seating arrangements. Designed by architect P.N. Mathur who taught at the School of Planning and Architecture, its large curved cinematographic screen made heroes (and villains) look bigger than they seemed.
How many times has one taken a bus to Sarojni Nagar bus terminal and then walked to the theatre for the show for this was one of the few halls which regularly showed "foreign films".
I went to watch Ben Hur with my dad and brother, sitting in the front row with Charlton Heston's biceps magnified many times over. Also i was introduced me to some to eclectic stuff like Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence which forced me to rethink my career as a dictator. I still remember Ryuichi Sakamoto's music that kept echoing in the half empty hall.
There was Nirulas' under the hall where i remember going after our school farewell. This was a long lunch where the boys irritated the hell out of other customers by singing loudly and getting into fights with the employees who were trying to throw us out. Thankfully i do not going out on a date to this outlet . This loss of memory i take to be a good sign since I must have made a complete ass of myself. (This was my Brando phase and none of the girls gave a fuck).
Then there were the eating joints with Russian signboards which served momos. You sat in the open or half covered restaurants discussing the film you just saw.
It is sad that this quirky architectural structure will be taken down. Somehow we never value our contemporary urban history till it is too late. Had this been any other place this would have been converted to a museum for cinema and visitors charged a bomb to enter. Now that's an idea for Delhi Tourism....
PS Does anyone remember the name of the video game that operated in the 80's in the basement of Chanakya?
Another write up on Chanakya by Pragya